School officials propose to move Huntington Middle students

Huntington Middle School

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — School officials say Huntington Middle School is plagued by HVAC problems and leaks.

School Board Chairman Gary Hunter says he wouldn’t be surprised if there was mold or asbestos within its walls.

He says the bottom line is, it’s just not safe, and school officials have been looking for a solution.

Tuesday evening, Newport News Superintendent Brian Nichols recommended they close the middle school next year, and send the children to other local schools until they figure out what to do with it.

“Heritage High School is built in wings and so there is a separate wing that we will have for our incoming seventh and eighth-graders, so it will be completely separate. Separate gym times, separate cafeteria times,” said School Board Chairman Gary Hunter.

Hunter says the sixth-graders would be split up by zones and sent to either Hines or Crittenden middle schools.

“The parents have asked us to ensure that there kids are kept together, which we have. And preferably they wanted the kids to be in the south district and we also accomplished those two things,” said Hunter.

Hunter says right now they are trying to work out the transportation details.

Previous Coverage: Fate of dilapidated Huntington Middle School in limbo

“I think the things we are worried about is our parents, like any parent, how far kids have to travel on the bus, that’s the main thing. Are there going to be interaction with older kids,” he added.

School officials have already worked out a map that shows parent’s where each student would go based on the zoning..but Hunter says it’s a flexible plan.

“If some changes have to be made to a student here, a student there, I’m certain we will accommodate those changes,” said Hunter.